We spent about 60 hours in Lisbon, Portugal, however, since we went to spend time in Sintra we only had about 24 hours to really get to know the city of Lisbon. Lisbon is such a beautiful city with so many friendly locals that really want to show you their country. Portuguese people are really proud of their country and happy that it has now started to become a huge tourist spot. They love introducing people to their food, culture, history and more. My friends and I had such a blast and felt so welcomed here which made our experience that much better. English is widely spoken here and we didn’t find an issue trying to communicate with locals, they are excellent as speaking English.
How to get around Lisbon, Portugal
Tuk Tuks are easy to get around all over town. I preferred riding in Tuk Tuks but it can get a little expensive so sometimes we would take the bus or subways if they were in close proximity which is super affordable.
Buses and Subways
At the subway station, you can get a “Viva Viagem” card which is valid for the bus and subway, however it needs to be preloaded with costs which you would have to do at the subway station. It costs about €0.50 and can be relocated any time for up to a year. It costs about €1.45 – One Way or €6.15 – 24 hour unlimited travel, which includes all Lisbon buses and subways.
Things to do in Lisbon, Portugal
This is the best place to get Pastels in Portugal hands down! You will even travel to Spain and all the pastels are named after the town of Belem. The coffee here was small compared to American standards, but it was amazingly well made and it must have something to do with the fresh cream they use for their pastries. They have a to-go ordering area at the front counter where most people including tourists will go when they see how long the line is. I suggest you go here first thing in the morning and I believe they open at 10:00am before the crowd gets there. This place is huge with a ton of seating, but the place gets so packed with lines wrapping around the building and within different rooms inside because of how well known they are.
This place is practically next door to the Pasteis de Belem. So I suggest you go here first and then move on to the Monument to the Discoveries. I highly suggest you buy your tickets in advance, since the lines can become very long to get inside.
Monument to the Discoveries
This place is amazing but it was warm when we arrived, you can easily walk here from the Pasteis de Belem. I suggest you walk through the gardens on the way to the Monument to the Discoveries, you can go downstairs through a underground tunnel to walk to the other side of the street. The monument was a lot bigger than I thought it would be and interesting to look at. You can see the inside, but we decided to just admire it from the exterior since it looked fairly busy.
You can then easily walk to Belem Tower after the Monument to the Discoveries. I made the mistake of thinking that this was too far to walk because for some reason on my map, I thought it was farther than it was. So we took a Tuk Tuk from the Monument to the Discoveries to Belem Tower which was a huge mistake, please do not make this mistake! Near the Belem Tower is one of the best places to get souvenirs. You may have people trying to sell you necklaces on the sidewalks and what not, but I suggest you get your souvenirs at the stands at the side of the park. They were the cheapest we found in town and the most unique I felt like. Don’t forget to get a chicken!
This was my favorite market of all time. There were so many different food selections that it was hard for us to choose which vendor to pick. We ended up going to one of the oldest shops in the market which served Jamon, Cheese, Olives and we ended up getting a bottle of wine to share. We weren’t too hungry, but we knew we needed something small to eat. This place is definitely worth checking out.
Alfama is the oldest District in Lisbon. This little District has so much charm, beauty and character. You will even see the locals having a blast here.
We took a stroll up and down each ally way only to be suddenly stopped by old ladies serving Ginja. Ginja is a traditional sweet drink in Portugal that you must try. These ladies were so persuasive we ended up happily walking around the town tipsy! The ladies were so welcoming and not one of them spoke a lick of English as we tried to signal how much each shot cost. We had so much fun and really felt part of this little town. But be careful, if you are clumsy like me try not to break their homemade containers filled with Ginja (which I almost did by the way!).
Don’t forget to stop by thto get some beautiful hand painted tiles made by a local artist.
This is a great location to hop onto the Tram in Lisbon but also a great location to do some shopping. There are tons of local shops and little booths. We found a ton of handmade jewelry, beautiful hand painted tiles and cute little shops. This is also fairly close to a subway station which is great!
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